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Women in Combat, Women in the Draft.

 This will likely happen because of Constitutional issues.  What are your thoughts on being drafted or having a daughter drafted.

Panetta: Women May Be Included in Future Draft

Jan 25, 2013

Army equipment officials say engineers are adapting body armor so it provides a more comfortable fit for female soldiers.

Females may be included in the Selective Service and qualify for a potential draft should one be ordered by the president, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.

The U.S. military’s civilian leader lamented that he didn’t know who ran the Selective Service, but whoever does will “have to exercise some judgment based on what we just did,” Panetta said at a Pentagon press conference Thursday.

On Thursday, Panetta and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lifted the official ban on women serving in combat roles, removing gender barriers from jobs in the military.

Congress established the U.S. Selective Service as an independent federal agency in 1940, one year ahead of the start of World War II. Presidents had drafted men in previous wars, but this was the first time it was established in peace time. In America’s history, the military has never drafted a woman or ordered her to register for the Selective Service.

That could change as the service leaders determine how to institute the new policy of allowing women to serve in combat arms specialties. In doing so, it may force Congress or the president to include women or scrap the Selective Service, analysts said.

“That, frankly, could be true,” Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., told

The Supreme Court cited the exclusion of women from combat in its ruling 30 years ago that the male-only Selective Service System was constitutional.


The inclusion of women in combat roles means a new constitutional challenge to the men-only system could turn out differently, Campbell said. That or the Supreme Court could rule that Selective Service can remain in effect only if women are required to register.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, called the Pentagon’s decision “ill-advised.”  In part, she said, because it will affect “unsuspecting civilian women, who will face equal obligations to register for Selective Service when a future federal court rules in favor of litigation brought by the [American Civil Liberties Union] on behalf of men.”

On Wednesday, the ACLU issued a statement in support of the Pentagon’s decision, but said nothing about opening up Selective Service registration to women, or criticizing it for discriminating against men.

As far as Campbell is concerned, women should be signing up right alongside their male counterparts.

“Yes,” she said. “. . . On principle, yes.”

The U.S. Selective Service has begun looking at what it may need in terms of resources should Congress or the president want to make a change.

The system would operate the same way, but the number of people who would have to register each year would about double. The Selective Service has an annual budget of $24 million and 153 full-time employees.

The draft has gone through a number of changes over the past century to include age ranges reaching as high as 45 after the U.S. got into World War II. But through all the changes and wars, women were never included.

Growing opposition to the Vietnam War, coupled with evidence that people with money and connections could avoid it, resulted in Selective Service moving to a lottery system by the end of the 1960s and subsequently ending most deferments.

In 1975, with the U.S. then building an all-volunteer military, Selective Service registration was ended and with it, the draft.

President Jimmy Carter pushed to bring it back, but with a provision that both men and women register. Congress balked at that, however, and resurrected Selective Service as it had been -- for men only.

A lawyer suing to overturn the law argued the female exemption made Selective Service discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled otherwise, deciding that the exemption for women was not a violation of equal protections because women were barred by law from combat.

“The purpose of registration was to prepare for a draft of combat troops,” the court stated. “Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft, and therefore decided not to register them."

The court said military experts testified before Congress in favor of registering women, but “uniformly opposed” drafting them.

In the event of a draft that required 650,000 people, the military likely would want about 80,000 non-combat jobs filled by women, the witnesses told Congress.

“[But] assuming that a small number of women could be drafted for non-combat roles,” the court said, “Congress simply did not consider it worth the added burdens of including women in draft and registration plans.”

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM
Replies (11-20):
by Ruby Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:08 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Whaaaaaa....O.o:

Quoting meriana:

Sometimes when a group of women fight for what they, personally, want, it ends up affecting all women and all women end up paying the consequences for a relatively small group's desire to get what they want.  I would hate to see a draft period. I hate the thought of young men being drafted, let alone young women. If they did reinstitute the draft, we could see lots of young families being torn apart when both dad and mom get drafted. Then there's the thing about both husband and wife being in a combat zone at the same time. Siblings cannot be in a combat zone at the same time but that rule doesn't apply to husbands and wives because they are not biologically related.

This bears repeating. It's rather selfish of them to do this to women as a whole.

I think so to and for some reason they tend to act as though they're doing women in general some huge favor. I do get tired of the whole "proving a woman can do anything a man can do and should" mentality. Personally I cringe at any possibility of my sons being drafted, the thought of my daughters being drafted makes me ill. My Dh just says, "I didn't raise my kid's to be targets" which pretty much explains his feelings about any draft and he's a Viet Nam vet. (probably why he feels that way)


by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:08 PM


Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

Then let them scrap the selective service.

 I don't think that will happen, not with the big drawdawn coming.


by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:10 PM
9 moms liked this

women should absolutely have to register for selective service and be considered for the draft.  I don't see this as an unwelcome consequence.  If we want equality it comes with responsibilities as well.  

by Ashley on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Exactly what I'm thinking. I don't see why women shouldn't be drafted.

Quoting katy_kay08:

women should absolutely have to register for selective service and be considered for the draft.  I don't see this as an unwelcome consequence.  If we want equality it comes with responsibilities as well.  

by Ruby Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:17 PM
I'm never OK with the draft! However, I see absolutely nothing wrong with drafting women as well as men. They will obviously have to take into account not drafting both parents. That's all. I think they should let parents decide which is more appropriate if both are 100% elligible. No, I don't want my DD drafted. If I had a son, I wouldn't want him drafted either! I will want my DD to register as a consciencious objector, if she chooses & is able. If I'm required to register, at 42yo, I will do the same. We both have asthma, so they may not want us anyway. My partner, at 46yo, is too old. But why shouldn't women be drafted? Makes no sense.
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by Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Um, what is the actual likeliness that we would have a draft if women are allowed in combat situations. We needed a draft because of how many MEN we had. We have more people and now adding more women, yeah, I don't see a draft especially when they are still downsizing the military.

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:24 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Whaaaaaa....O.o:

I am NOT ok with my girls being drafted. They would not be able to stomach war. They are just like me and non combative. I wouldn't be able to do it. :(

 That's how I feel  and I am sure my daughters do too.

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:27 PM
2 moms liked this

 Women don't even belong in combat.  Men are physically stronger and more capable of that.  God made men and women differently.  Besides, if you put a woman out in that type of situation with a bunch of men, though it is wrong, there is much greater chance of rape, etc.  Combat is just not a place for women.   Draft is definitely wrong, because then we would be putting women out there in that type of situation when against her choice.

Those are  just my thoughts.

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by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:27 PM


Quoting yourspecialkid:


Quoting JoshRachelsMAMA:

Then let them scrap the selective service.

 I don't think that will happen, not with the big drawdawn coming.


 Could you explain this? I am not familiar with the term "drawdown".I could Google it but it seems you have insider info that would be good to know.

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:33 PM
Quoting 4music:

I don't have any boys, but I'm sure I would feel the same about them.
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